During school break in ’44 and ’45, I played on the Bud Blizzard traveling baseball team that played all over Letcher and Wise counties. We had a very good team that won most of our games.
Dill Berry Miller, a classmate of mine at Burdine School, was one of the best teenager pitchers in Letcher County. I played left field, and was one of our team’s long ball hitters.
We were playing a good team from McRoberts on their home field. Going into the top of the ninth, McRoberts was ahead 4 to 2. We had runners on first and second with two outs. I was coming up to bat and my half-brother, Erman Short, home from the war in Europe, called me over and told me that if I hit a home run, he’d buy me a bike.
There was an opening in left field where the fence was down. I hit the first pitch through the opening in the fence for a home run, and we went on to win the game 5 to 4 when McRoberts did not score in the bottom of the ninth.
My brother told me that because I did not hit the ball over the fence, he would not buy me the bike. What a letdown for a young teenager who never had a bike in his life. Living in Cane Branch with the roads the way they were, was not a good place for a bike anyway.
A year later, I was in the Army Air Corps, playing most sports.